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LADO Folk Festival Opening: EAST WARSAW Ensemble: concert and film screening “From Podserednieje with Love”

"From Podserednieje with Love" is about the musical phenomenon that is the village of Podserednieje, 700 km south of Moscow. Created by talented young directors Tomasz Knittel and Jagna Knittel, it is a story of cultural discovery and exchange.

Сюжет фильма «Из Подсереднее с любовью» рассказывает о музыкальном феномене села Подсереднее, 700км к югу от Москвы. Снятый талантливыми молодыми режиссёрами Томасом и Ягной Книттель, фильм запечатлел культурное открытие и культурный обмен.

The film was inspired by the East Warsaw ensemble that spent two years visiting the village and learning  musical traditions from older local singers. Podseredneye's music is unique, polyphonic and improvised, performed with an open, unconstrained voice and a high level of musical mastery.

The film will be accompanied by a commentary from Monika Walenko-Ili-Tsang, a member of the East Warsaw ensemble, and a concert with other members of the group.

Podserednieje is a unique place, where almost everyone can sing. It was discovered in the 1970s by Russian musicologists, following which a local ensemble toured the world that was full of adventures and strange meetings. The film is about this trip, and about the village: it shows a fairy tale world, that comes up against the reality of modern life - all accompanied by song. 

Film directed by Tomasz Knittel and Jagna Knittel


The East Warsaw ensemble documents, reconstructs and performs Polish, Ukrainian and Russian traditional folk music. Their repertoire includes songs recorded during field trips in Ukrainian Polissya, southern Russia, and the Polish regions of Kurpie, Kujawy and Mazowsze. The group aims to preserve the unique vocal styles and traditional repertoire of Eastern-Slavonic musical culture. They have been singing together since 1999, training at both the Moscow Gnesin Academy and the Moscow Conservatory.

As well as looking at archives, their central source of inspiration is contact with singers of the older generation. The ensemble will present songs from the Polish traditional folk repertoire: ritual chants, such as spring, harvest and Christmas wishing songs, as well as lyrical and epic songs from Ukraine.

Monika Walenko-ili-tsang is a ­ traditional singer and  ethnomusicologist. She is a graduate of Warsaw University; she has organised and participated in field recordings in Russia, Ukraine and Poland, and is a member of the East Warsaw ensemble.